Asbury And The Cane Ridge Revival

Look among the nations and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if you were told (Habakkuk 1:5).

Below is a description of revival in Kentucky …

It became clear that no one expected the numbers … visitors grew from hundreds into thousands, and local hospitality was swamped.

Sounds like a description of the Asbury University Revival in Wilmore, Kentucky, during the past two weeks. But, it’s not a description of Asbury but the Cane Ridge Revival in 1801.  

The Cane Ridge Revival had crowds upwards of 30 thousand coming to a frontier area close to Lexington, Kentucky, for six days of preaching, worship, and people literally falling to the ground under the power of the Spirit.

Cane Ridge, Kentucky, is 46 miles from Wilmore, Kentucky. Cane Ridge is northeast of Lexington, Kentucky, while Wilmore is southwest of Lexington. 

Close proximity for influential revivals centuries apart!

Consider 1801, when tens of thousands came to a revival in a frontier community by horse and wagons, with no roadside rests or modern restaurants, having to carry their own food and bedding, yet all strangely attracted by the Holy Spirit.

There were only 6,000 people living in Lexington at the time of the Cane Ridge Revival. And yet – six days of revival with tens of thousands attending.

I am a distant spiritual relative of the Cane Ridge Revival, as the independent Christian Church (my heritage) and other denominations began with this revival.

The Asbury Revival was tame compared to the Cane Ridge Revival. Cane Ridge was a rambling campground of tens of thousands, multiple preachers standing on tree stumps preaching, and thousands of people lying on the ground under the conviction and power of God’s Spirit.

Revival can be messy, not conforming to our schedule or protocols.

This year, a chapel service scheduled to end in the morning on Wednesday, February 8, continued without interruption until the night of Sunday, February 19.

Watching videos of the Asbury chapel during the past week, I saw worship, prayer, people lying on the floor before God, and groups praying together. The same Spirit showed up in Wilmore as in Cane Ridge – perhaps less rambunctious but with a similar impact.

One church leader told me …

God definitely spoke to me on the day that I went. He spoke to me about being a better husband and allowing Him to use me however He wants. The day was a blur, and I missed a lot.

At the Asbury Revival, there were no clear leaders (even worship leaders were not introduced), and at Cane Ridge, multiple preachers preached without a defined leader.  

Yesterday in Interruption #867, I said that there were no defined leaders at the beginning of the Jesus Movement.

Books have been written about the Cane Ridge Revival, books have been written about the Jesus Movement, and a movie titled the Jesus Revolution is being released this month. Many books, blogs, and posts will continue commenting on Asbury 2023 for decades.

Leaders emerged from Cane Ridge, churches were planted, existing churches were revived, and many were saved.

Leaders emerged from the Jesus Movement, churches were planted, existing churches were revived, and many were saved.

Will the Asbury Revival bring forth new leaders for Jesus? Will churches be planted? Will existing believers and churches be renewed, and will many decide to follow Jesus?

We pray this will be the result of Asbury in 2023.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *